Letter: Nothing good about pirates

Published 2:19 pm Sunday, April 10, 2022

Rosie Glapion

Lake Charles

Here I am again, “the voice crying out in the desert.” It is a pity that after Laura, Delta, and an epic flood, pirate flags are flying on the lakefront in the shadows of the Capitol One building

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What if we go to Angola State Penitentiary and hold an annual festival celebrating the inmates who are murderers, thieves, rapists and other crimes. We can call it The Louisiana Criminal Festival.

Pirates are murderers, thieves, rapists and slave traders and some of our citizens want to hold a Louisiana Pirate Festival. To glamorize and romanticize pirates is to make heroes out of criminals. It is like putting lipstick on a pig. No matter how much that pig is dripping with diamonds and pearls, it is still a pig. No amount of pretending can make this a matter of just having fun.

As far back as 2003 I have written about pirates. Remember the letter where I was going to start an organization called PAP (People Against Pirates)? Or remember the letter of April 26, 2009, “What’s so endearing about pirates?” Am I speaking English here? There is not one single, solitary good thing that can be said about a pirate. The Jolly Roger is offensive to women. The skull and crossbones is a demonic symbol highly offensive to Christians. Jean Lafitte was a notorious slave trader with slave pens set up the Sabine River selling slaves in Lake Charles.

We should not wonder why young people are disposed to violence when they are exposed to posters of Jean Lafitte with a gun in one hand and a knife in the other and being held up as a hero. It is a blatant contradiction to say that we oppose terrorism yet see nothing wrong with pretending to be pirates. As I write this there are pirates terrorizing the high seas.

African Americans continue to be offended by the pirate flags flying over the streets of Lake Charles once a year. The pirates stole and sold contraband/slaves. How can we not be offended while others are celebrating oppression and man’s inhumanity to man? We want the tortured souls of our ancestors — those who died in the watery graves and those who made the passage here brutalized by pirates, to be at peace knowing that in Lake Charles, there are no pretend pirates dancing on their grave.

I like to believe Lake Charles is better than this. We want a festival that will uplift the entire community. There is no progress or prosperity as long as we stagnate at the lowest common denominator. I suggest that Lake Charles should have a jazz festival. I think it could be named something like Jazz on the Lake. This would be celebrating true Louisiana culture. This would be dignified, respectful and would show that Lake Charles has class. We want a festival that will bring the blessings of God not the wrath of God on our city.